Mar 25, 2010

Mass Effect 2

Mass Effect 2 surprised me. I wasn't patient enough for the first one, so I wasn't too excited about the sequel. The commercials are what did it for me. The "fight for the lost" campaign had me curious. I'm glad I gave the sequel an opportunity. Mass Effect 2 was a nice way to start off 2010.

Everything about this game, the story, the side missions, the mining, and the gunplay is solid. The decision based events are nice because they not only effect the story, they effect the structure of Mass Effect 3. That's a genius mess. The squad you rack up for John Shepard is diverse and entertaining. The choices you have in this game, whether it be squad members or decisions about life and death, make your experience one of a kind. The Shepard I played with was apart of the Soldier class. I tried all of the other classes, but couldn't do anything better than aim and shoot. The weapon selection you get as a soldier is nice. My favorite weapon was the battle rifle because it's effective at both short and long ranges.

You definitely get your money's worth when it comes to Mass Effect 2. It took me a little over 29 hours to finish the story. I could have easily put in another 10 or 20 if I went for all of the achievements. There's so much to do. I made it a point to do at least half of the side missions, and get most of the customizable gear for Shepard, because style is very important for me. You have the freedom to do whatever you like in this game. If you want to follow the story feel free, if you want to mine for platinum to fix Shepard's face that's cool too. I didn't join the Cerberus Network because I don't believe in holding back the whole experience for profit when a game is released. DLC down the line is fine, but don't hold back when the game is first released. Mass Effect 2 is yet another reason to own a Xbox 360.

No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle

The best series on the Wii is back, and it's as hilarious as I remember it. No More Heroes the series that follows Travis Touchdown's journey to become the #1 assassin in Santa Destroy. The city has gone through a lot of development since I last saw it. The way of traveling around the city makes more sense than it did before. Instead of using Travis' motorcycle, you simply choose where you want to go from a menu. Next thing you know you're there. The motorcycle is still there, but it's used less frequently which makes using it fun instead of tedious.

No More Heroes pays homage to the 8 bit era of games. The minigames for the most part are a lot of fun. My favorites are Lay the Pipe, Ryan's Gym Exercises, and Pizza with a Vengeance. I can't tell you how many times I'd be playing a minigame and somebody in the room would get hit with nostalgia from the days of Atari and Nintendo. I've always appreciated how the series sees itself as a video game. They don't give you a full recap of what happened over the past 2 years because of the gamers who started at the second one and don't care about the first one.

Desperate Struggle needs an autosave feature. I've lost at least six hours of Laying the Pipe and at least 2 outfits due to forgetting to stop by the motel. It's cute that Travis goes to the bathroom to save, but damn. I also thought one of the bosses Nathan Copeland was ridiculous, but I already put him on my public announcement service.

Mar 23, 2010

Family Activites Director

Here we have a desperate dad trying to impress his kids. He does this by building a crazy contraption. It's funny how he hopes PlayStation will be impressed by that thing. For starters the contraption is outside, and PlayStation's are better at keeping kids indoors where no rain can touch them. I bet the kids don't hang with him because he spends all of his time building dangerous contraptions. They probably think he's trying to kill them.

The Family Activities Director is the cool guy in this situation. The room where the kids are playing is sweet. It's got a blue PS3 rug with posters of LittleBigPlanet, God of War 3, Uncharted 2, and Gran Turismo 5. The Sony TV doesn't hurt either. He's even got a Rock Band set and a stack of games just in case the kids get bored of LittleBigPlanet which I don't see happening. The puppy seals the deal. Can we keep him?

Mar 22, 2010

No More Memory Cards

The greatest contribution to console gaming from the past decade would have to be built in hard drives. No more paying extra money for a memory card. It sucked how critical memory cards were back in the day. I'm revisiting the PSone's catalog starting Resident Evil: Directors Cut. I died at the first encounter with the Big Snake. Two minutes later, I realized I didn't save which meant starting from the beginning of the game.

As I restarted the story, I began to realize that playing Resident Evil from the beginning was nothing new to me. I didn't have a memory card the first year I had a PSone. I played the game from the beginning so many times I know most of the script. The industry had to get back at us for not buying memory cards. What better way than making us Heroes, putting us in Bands, and taking us on a Ride with Tony Hawk for twice the price of a regular game?

Public Announcement Service

1989 called. She said she wants this clown to do the right thing and give the 80's look a rest. Somebody better souljaboytellem that it's all black everything these days... and what's with the boombox? Someone get him an iPod asap.

Blu-Ray Superiority

Our next commercial comes from an unhappy grandchild. He's upset that he can’t play his PlayStation 3 because his grandmother is always using it to watch Blu-ray Movies. I know the feeling. Right now I want to play Battlefield Bad Company 2 on my PS3, but my mothers using the TV to watch The People's Court. Gotta wait it out I guess. I like how the grandma's watching Transformers 2. Looks like this unhappy grandchild's going to be waiting for a few hours... Unless grandma gets too bored and falls asleep of course.

We find Mr. Blu-Ray Superiority hanging out at a cubicle. Star Trek on Blu-ray is playing on the monitor next to him as he tells the unhappy grandchild too bad. Star Trek's also playing on the two HDTV's in the background. I like how the employee on the phone looks at Blu-Ray when he mentions that old people like free stuff. The employee also has a football jersey that says PlayStation 09 on it suggesting the year of the commercial. Blu-Ray Superiority has grandma's side on this one so I guess the unhappy grandchild will have to do the unthinkable and go outside.

Mar 21, 2010

Big Action Moments

The next ad brings us to the Good Boyfriend. He asks Mr. Big Action Moments for advice because he's sees a problem with his girlfriend thinking Uncharted 2 is a movie. He says it's been going on for 2 days and she still doesn't realize it's a video game. The real problem is the boyfriend is an idiot. It's not just Uncharted 2 that keeps her entertained. It's also the comfortable couch she's sitting on, and the high-def television she's watching as she enjoys her popcorn. This guy is living a dream and doesn't even realize it. You're with an attractive person who is entertained at the video game you're playing. Enjoy it.

The setting is what makes the boyfriend good. The room is nice. We've got a nice high-def TV playing Uncharted 2, walls with color, and a hot girlfriend. Big Action Moments is chillin in his office. There's a PS3 with an HDTV playing Uncharted 2 along with posters of Uncharted 2 and the Playstation logo in the background. Big Action Moments says it’s a common problem then shows a montage of action scenes from Uncharted. After realizing the boyfriend is an idiot, Big Action Moments responds that this is not an issue.

This ad takes away the myth that gamers are lazy nerds, and are instead idiots with attractive girlfriends. For years gaming has been known as an antisocial sport that girls don’t like. Games have come a long way. They can entertain more than the people that control it. The Uncharted series feels like you're watching a movie, and is great for couples to enjoy. Nathan Drake is like Indiana Jones except he never ages.

Enough is Enough

The next commercial involves the unsatisfied girlfriend. She's upset at her boyfriend for not connecting their PS3 to the PlayStation Network. “VP of Enough is Enough” Kevin Butler is there to listen. Before we go into the commercial let’s look at the setting.

Girlfriend is sitting at a table while her boyfriend is sitting on the couch playing LittleBigPlanet. The only part of the boyfriend we can see are his legs on the table. Enough is Enough is sitting at an employee's cubicle. The employee is busy surfing the PlayStation Network while Enough is Enough handles the problem. Above the employee's monitor is a logo for the PlayStation Network. To Enough's left, our right, is a poster of the game LittleBigPlanet, which is the game the clueless boyfriend is playing. Back to the commercial.

Enough is Enough expresses his outrage saying that by not being on the PlayStation Network they can’t surf the Internet, play classic games from the original PlayStation 1, download movies and TV shows, or join PlayStation Home. Scarlet knows all of these things including how lame her boyfriend is. The commercial ends with both of them agreeing that Enough is Enough. Great way to show the PlayStation Network isn’t only for men.

It Only Does Everything

The first commercial we are going to look at is the one that introduces the new price of $299 for the PlayStation 3. The format of these commercials is simple. A consumer asks PlayStation a question followed by a response from a VP at Sony by the name of Kevin Butler. Kevin Butler is a man of the people, and proves it with his many job titles. In this particular commercial Kevin is the "Director of Rumor Confirmation" answering “Rumor Monger” Bernie Buncalan’s question about a rumor floating around that the PS3 is $299. Bernie Buncalan is presented as a stereotypical nerd of the 21st century. He’s overweight, wearing glasses, has a beard, and clothes that suggest he doesn’t have a good sense of fashion. His room has is filled with Sci-Fi posters and 4 different monitors suggesting that he doesn’t leave the house often. Kevin Butler is presented as a stereotypical executive. Older white guy wearing a shirt, tie and dress pants with insight on what goes on within the company he works for.

The office Kevin Butler is walking around is filled with images of slim PS3 and the numbers $299. There’s T-shirts, posters, balloons, blimps, hats, led displays, and satellite projections on the moon all saying $299. Kevin Butler keeps it cool by saying "no comment," and acts like he didn't hear when Bernie mentions that everything says $299 behind him.

Mar 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Mar 14, 2010

Sex Sells

Grab a slice of Tiger Woods 
Get 'em Tiger! 

Mar 12, 2010

Emotional Release

Heavy Rain is deep. How deep? 6 inches. After playing the demo, I became obsessed with February 23rd. My birthday, which was on the 20th, felt incomplete because I couldn't have what I really wanted. PAX East badges are great, but I just wanted to play. When the 23rd came, I realized I wouldn't be able to play Heavy Rain since I had ordered it through GameFly. GameFly is great. They shipped the game on the 22nd, so I knew it was coming on the 24th. I just had to make it through the 23rd.

February 23rd was strange. I spent the day debating whether or not I should buy Heavy Rain. I tried to rationalize it by believing the difference I would get from trading it back would be equal to renting it. One minute I'd think about how I should be studying for a test I had that day. Five minutes later I'd think about the Origami Killer. I didn't know what to do with myself. I always look forward to playing the new hotness, but it's rare for me to obsess over it. I remember waiting outside of Electronics Boutique on August 26, 2002 to get my copy of Super Mario Sunshine. I tried my luck at Blockbuster. They didn't have it. I started feeling anxious. I found myself checking my watch every 3 seconds hoping 10:00PM would show up. After 10:00 the last of the stores that sold the game in my area would be closed. I sat in my car for over an hour trying to talk myself out of going to Gamestop. I ended up on my couch playing No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle until I felt human again. Thank you Suda 51.